Discourse: A way of understanding something that is prevalent in a particular society
a) becomes institutionalized through expert organizations, practices & language (but)
b) can be contested by through the practices and languages of other social groups < Foucault
something that we accept because its projected out in society through experts, practices &
languages. Who are the people who create this discourse, the upper class, food scholars, critics,
chefs etc. access to media, money, power in society.
Not that we all accept this without question, some groups challenge discourse about food,
difficult to challenge, we don’t question its just the discourse, some people resist and question it.
Frieganism is alternative counter discourses.
Authentic & Exotic is good food, it’s also ethical.
Implications for Class & Race
Who typically define it, white people from the upper class define mainstream discourse.
Implication for inequality & also defining bad food, inauthentic not exotic & unhealthy. Moral
Judgment on what type of food you consume, seen as unhealthy.
Ethical eating & food politics
Action: choose between products
Goal: change objectionable company practices (regarding health, social justice, sustainability)
1930s/40s State- Company Focused Benefit All
Focus activism on the state, changing legislation. Stopped factory farms benefits those buying
Post war 1980s+ rise of neoliberal
Market-focused (ethical consumerism) benefits individual, neoliberal ethos, retreat of
government, economic & social system works left, ethical consumerism.
1)Local, organic & better? You need less energy to grow food, if your bringing in from another state, emission cost, cheaper
energy to grow it there, modes of transportation, train truck etc.
Is it effective, green washing co-opting environmental messages. You may be buying something
better for the environment.
3) Overconsumption doesn’t address this the ethics
4) Feasibility Label confusion: doesn’t have enough information, lack of information don’t have
enough to make choices
5) Status/Shame: printing t shirts, what happens if you don’t do that, et if you eat @ a place
where they have ethical problems
Democracy & Equal Access
Dollar is your vote, more say for those with more money.
Not a lot of places that sell ethical food
Riverdale: upper class, lots of more choices for ethical food more white neighbor hood
Ethical food desert
Political Inaction: Political Anesthesia
If that’s how you make the change, the local they see the idea as fixed, the pesticide issue is
resolved for their family, they don’t think about political issues anymore, changing pesticide
regulation, pressure local government to change legislation, inactive politically. Problematic:
people disadvantaged who are not financially able, no policy is being changed, people who cant
end up eating pesticides.
Problems with ethical consumersi